Client Alerts
August 12, 2011

Tennessee legislature clarifies foreclosure requirements

Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Client Alert, August 12, 2011

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC


Recent revisions to Tennessee law have clarified the information required to be included in the contents of a notice of foreclosure. Previously, Tenn. Code Ann. § 35-5-104(a)(2) required the notice of foreclosure to “[d]escribe the land in brief terms, including the street address if available.” Such requirement was vague, and often creditors included the entire legal description of the property (often a lengthy metes and bounds description) to ensure compliance with the law.

As amended and restated, § 35-5-104(a)(2) now requires “a concise description of the land” comprised of (a) a legal description, for which a reference to the deed book and page that contains the complete legal description is sufficient; and (b) a common description, which means the street address and map and parcel number of the property, or, in the event no street address exists, a subdivision, lot or tract number. A metes and bounds description may be, but is not required to be, included in the description of the land.

The legislature also revised Tenn. Code Ann. § 35-5-101, which requires twenty days’ notice by publication, by adding a subsection specifically authorizing the postponement or adjournment of foreclosure sales upon certain conditions. § 35-5-101(f) provides that unless contractually prohibited, a sale may be postponed to a specified date if such postponement is announced at the date, time and location of each scheduled sale date. If the postponement is for more than 30 days, notice must be mailed to the debtor and co-debtor at least 10 days prior to the sale date by regular (as opposed to certified) mail. If the postponed sale is held within one year of the originally scheduled date, additional newspaper publication is not required.

These amendments took effect July 1, 2011. The full text of the bill can be found at 2011 Tenn. ALS 505; 2011 Tenn. Pub. Acts 505; 2011 Tenn. Pub. Ch. 505; 2011 Tenn. HB 1920.

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